Need First Tractor. . . I want to learn! ! !

   / Need First Tractor. . . I want to learn! ! ! #1  

jezreel

Silver Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2018
Messages
190
Location
Eustace, TX
Tractor
Kubota - MX5400 DTC
Good Evening. . .

I am retiring on Dec. 31 after 30 years in Federal Law Enforcement. The wife and I bought 20 acres in the sticks to build a house, and enjoy the country. Approximately 9 acres of pasture, 11 acres of trees. The land has very sandy loam soil. I plan to have a road laid with "recycled asphalt." Water will be from a well. The pastures have old matted dry grass with large weeds that have taken over (pics will be attached). The sandy soil is, how do I describe it, "bumpy?" Kinda like you might have wet muddy pasture that was driven thru with a tractor, and then it dries with the tire tracks. But this is very sandy, so the bumps could easily be smoothed out. I really want to get the pastures under control with some coastal Bermuda.

Main topic of this thread it to understand what kind of tractor I will need, and what implements.

Questions I will need answered about buying a tractor. At least these are the questions I know of, but I am sure I need advice that I'm not even aware of.

1) What size tractor will get the job done
2) What implements do I need
3) New or Used - I have to spend a lot of money on a house, long road, water well, shop and electricity back to the house, so I have to be careful with my funds. I am ALWAYS more than willing to spend a bit more for new, to have the confidence that it will not break. I just don't know how reliable a moderately priced used tractor is. But, $8,000 for used tractor, implements and trailer vs. $19,000 for a new Package Deal is quite a difference. I am just worried about spending the money on the used tractor, only to find it breaking on me within the first year.
4) New Tractor and Used Implements? ? ?

My brain has absolutely NO tractor knowledge. I have read many threads, and have tried to learn. One thing I have learned is that I need to decide what I want to do with the land, and then decide on a tractor.

So. . . Here are the things I plan to do with the property.

1) Build House
2) We will have no livestock of any kind
3) Will want to plant numerous fruit and pecan trees
4) Will want a decent size garden
5) Will want to rejuvenate pastures from weeds to Bermuda grass
6) Will need to drag some dead fall to the pasture for burning.

Okey Doke. . . I think that is it. I know I am starting a thread that is like opening up the flood gates, but I am ready to start learning. Reading the other threads help, but I reckon I need some dialogue.

Thanks for help. . .

John

Pic of property

IMG_0903.jpg

Pic of Weeds and Pasture

IMG_1100.jpg

IMG_1092.jpg
 
   / Need First Tractor. . . I want to learn! ! ! #2  

HCJtractor

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2009
Messages
1,544
Location
upstate South Carolina, Greenville
Tractor
Kubota M6800, Massey Ferguson 240
Congrats on your retirement and your new land. You’re going to get many opinions. But here’s mine. Your total budget for tractor related expense is critical. Decide that first. I would rather have an appropriate used tractor than a shinny new one that’s not what you need. So a new tractor like you need will cost $25,000 plus. So I’d get a used farm tractor, a heavy basic one, with 4 WD and a FEL. Like my Kubota M 6800. Heavy, solid, dependable. But any brand in that category will work. I would avoid a lightweight tractor. You want pulling power, and that means weight. Get an open cab to save money. Get a skid steer quick release FEL for sure. Next would be a good rotary cutter, also the heaviest you can find, but probably new, unless you stumble across one with very few hours. Mine is a Woods Brushbull 720X. It’s pretty stout. You could get by with a 6 footer, but bigger would be better. As far as a trailer, don’t bother unless you have to transport it elsewhere often. Borrow one.
With that much pasture, a good 3 point hitch sprayer, 100 or more gallon size with a wide boom. As far as pasture renovation, I don’t know much about that. Maybe someone else can advise. But if you spray it, run some type of renovator over it, you could drill the seed. But drills are very expensive. Rent one or hire it done. Maybe a 6 or 7’ boxblade. They’re handy but fairly cheap. Maybe a good wide rake, like the Everything Attachments Extreme duty one. All the things I listed could be bought for under 22,000. And this would be a good start.

What I didn’t list are ground engaging implements. A good heavy disc would be great for a garden, and cheap. And a cone type fertilizer spreader. But the pasture is another story. Implements to properly manage that are going to be costly. It just depends on how perfect you want your pastures. Maybe find a local farmer with big tools to do it for you, at least to get it back to health initially. Maybe share the hay in exchange.

Factor in a diesel transport tank of some sort, even if it’s a 55 gal drum, unless you have a gas station within tractor driving range. Also a big pole shed, dirt floor, no walls, but just a roof. You could always improve it later.

That’s a start.
 
   / Need First Tractor. . . I want to learn! ! ! #3  

MESSMAKER

Veteran Member
Joined
May 19, 2009
Messages
2,209
Location
Bluegrass,KY
Tractor
DK4710SE
I see it a bit differently. I do pretty much agree with the tractor. A 35hp 4x4 tractor with a loader is really really handy. Nothing wrong with a used one but they are almost impossible to find. I would buy a used rotary cutter because once you mow a couple of times, you don't need as much machine to maintain it. Lots of rotary mowers last 25+ years. I think I would follow the above suggestion and get a used box-blade. I think I would go with a tiller third as you can use it for a garden as well as getting the lawn in shape during the build. You could even use it on the pastures but it would be a slow go. Might want to make a drag out of some railroad cross beams an some chain link fence wrapped around it. It will smooth things out if you use when the ground it damp. I would probably stop and get other tools as you need them. You can go used, but most of your good deals will be found on a 2wd utility tractor without a loader. You can get a lot done with this kind of tractor, but you will wish you had the other setup almost immediately.
 
   / Need First Tractor. . . I want to learn! ! ! #4  

majorwager

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2017
Messages
1,044
Location
western new york
Tractor
kubota mx 5100 IH 484 ford 1620 lull 844b
O P,

In your previous thread you received some positive advice. TBN folks tend to spend new buyer's money much more freely than they would their own funds. Acquiring ALL the toys is NOT an immediate marathon. Proceed cautiously, purchase in increments, determine what works and doesn't. It is easy to suddenly have a barn full of implements, and needless expense, before realizing exactly how best to approach your tasks.
 
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   / Need First Tractor. . . I want to learn! ! ! #5  

flusher

Super Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2005
Messages
7,538
Location
Sacramento
Tractor
Getting old. Sold the ranch. Sold the tractors. Moved back to the city.
Your basic tractor: 40-50 hp (engine), 4WD, hydrostatic tranny, power steering, pair of rear hydraulic remotes, front end loader (FEL) with 6-ft wide bucket. New: $25K. Used: $15-20K.

Good luck
 
   / Need First Tractor. . . I want to learn! ! ! #6  

dodge man

Super Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2008
Messages
9,167
Location
West central Illinois
Tractor
JD 2025R
I personally would want to budget about 20k for what you want. You might want a grapple? You might want a backhoe? They are expensive options. I agree with the HP numbers people are throwing around. 30 hp would be the minimum and 50 hp might be on the high end. I am most familiar with Kubota so I'd be looking at the L line. A smaller M might be OK also. Once you get the tractor, I'd start with an end loader and brush hog, you can always add implements later. I would strongly recommend an HST tractor (think automatic transmission).
 
   / Need First Tractor. . . I want to learn! ! !
  • Thread Starter
#7  
OP
jezreel

jezreel

Silver Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2018
Messages
190
Location
Eustace, TX
Tractor
Kubota - MX5400 DTC
Thanks so much for the replies. Seems the biggest take away for me here is, and I could be wrong, Go New rather than Used with a budget between $20k and $25k. I didn't see any emphasis on buying a (for example) 1980's tractor with used implements. Which is fine, as with me, New means peace of mind. I was looking at the Kubota L3301HST. I assume that would do the work I need. Question? ? ? This was in one of Your posts, What is HST about?

Thanks for all your thoughts.
 
   / Need First Tractor. . . I want to learn! ! ! #8  

majorwager

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2017
Messages
1,044
Location
western new york
Tractor
kubota mx 5100 IH 484 ford 1620 lull 844b
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Jezreel,
True piece of mind comes w/ a new machine warranty. An issue w/ used tractors is assessing the maintenance they have received. Many older machines are gear driven and not productive for loader work. They are also simple designs, and rather straightforward to repair. Many are 2wd which can be limiting.

The HST is a hydrostatic transmission. Select a gear range and forward / reverse motion is accomplished by pushing a floor pedal in one direction or the other, no clutching. Very efficient for repetitive loaded work. This is a handy feature many members prefer. The further the pedal is pushed, the faster the speed. Suffice this a simplification of the process.

I have an older 1980 gear drive, IH which has served me well. Purchased new, 2wd w/ a stout FEL. It is a great mowing machine. Until this year, fluids and tires the only expense, not bad for 38 years. Of my tractors, this old girl has a special sentiment.

The Texas climate can be treacherous under that summer sun. You might take a look at a cab W/ A/C. If mowing and such is on your schedule, and not the thermometer. Being retired affords plenty of time, but you have worked hard and being comfortable is a benefit well earned. Just a thought.
 
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   / Need First Tractor. . . I want to learn! ! ! #9  

3gunr

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Messages
1,032
Location
wentzville mo
Tractor
mahindra 2538 mahindra 2810 cub cadet 7260 massey 255
I have four tractors ,The newest one is an hst.I was a little leary about hst before i bought it.Now by far it is my favorite tractor and is so much easier and faster to use.Make sure you get the fel with the tractor and not later on.You should be able to run a 6 ft cutter with the l3301 but that would be at its limit on tall heavy grass and brush.
 
   / Need First Tractor. . . I want to learn! ! ! #10  

kneedeep

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2012
Messages
1,294
Location
AL Gulf Coast & MS Delta
Tractor
Mahindra 3510 & 8560
Check with the local dealers for used 50+ HP tractors. May be hard to find, but going thru a Dealer will help establish a relationship that will benefit you and him in the long run.
I have had 3 Mahindra tractors and will continue to stay with Mahindra as the local dealer services and carries basic parts (filters, belts, starter, alternator, batteries, etc) for most brands of tractors and sells Mahindras
He also handles several lines of equipment and always has some good used stuff on hand at one time or another.

The type and size of tractor needed will be determined by what it is required to do. Nothing worse than realizing $20K later that you really need 4WD or loader or 50 vs 30HP!

Good luck and enjoy shopping
 
 
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